The newest champion released for League of Legends totally looks like Alexstrasza, right? I'm not crazy? She also is one of the most fun champions I've ever played as in the game. Still, she totally looks like Alexstrasza. More WoW skins, Riot. Pleeeeeease?
Sorry for my LoL tangent. Here are some answers to some questions.
"WoW is severely lacking endgame advancement that isn't endgame raiding."
How about Arenas and Rated Battlegrounds?
End-game PvP has, arguably, more replay value than scripted dungeon and raid encounters since each match-up is going to be unique based on your opposing classes and the players behind them. You even have a gearing path from crafted -> Honor -> Conquest gear gated by weekly caps and arena rating requirements. There are even tier sets with unique models, and the Season 11 sets - particularly Warlocks (damn you!) - look awesome.
PvP isn't for everyone, but it's there, and certainly worth bringing up when you claim there is a lack of advancement.
WoW PVP certainly is an alternative endgame to PVE content, but the essential nature of PVP in WoW shares the same nexus of "do X, get more gear" with PVE. The advancement is still very linear. The Pet Battle system is at least more varied, direction-wise.
There is a dirty little secret about WoW PVP that not a lot of people talk about -- not a lot of people do it. With over 11 million subscribers, you would think that Blizzard wouldn't have to push PVP on the players as much as it does. It took three account-bound mounts, a significant drop in win numbers, and pitting the same factions against each other for Blizzard to get to a comfortable place with players running Rated Battlegrounds, and the Arena cannot account for as much player representation as the rest of the endgame features. If we ever got the actual PVP numbers in WoW, I bet we would all be shocked. Mostly it is a barrier-to-entry problem, but not one that has an easy solution. Blizzard has said that all players are getting some base resilience in Mists, so that's a start but definitely not the only fix needed.
That's not a dig at PVP, mind you. It's just that PVP is one of those difficult things to incentivize because players have to do something fundamentally different than what they are used to for endgame content. Pet Battles have a familiar feeling with leveling up, achieving goals, and fighting pets. I would wager that the Pet Battle system will be the more popular version of PVP for the rest of WoW's lifetime once it releases with Mists of Pandaria.
"Many other MMOs have systems like this in game already. WoW desperately needs something like it, and Blizzard knows it."
They knew it with Path of Titans too, and still cut it. That said, PokeWoW doesn't seem like it'll have the ability to affect other parts of the game the way that PoT would have.
I think the fact that the Pet Battle system doesn't interfere with the rest of the game is actually why the system has a better chance of making into the game and actually being successful. When you have something that grows its roots around every facet of character advancement, you now have another huge game system to balance and keep in mind when designing everything from boss encounters to raid instances and new content. "More" is not necessarily better when it comes to personal character advancement that ties up with other avenues of character advancement. Pet Battles' being separate means that it gets its own balance, own timeline, own milestones, and no one ever has to say, "Why did Blizzard balance this for Pet Battles and not for PVE or PVP?" It's advancement without the downside of being another thing to balance in the grand scheme of the game's encounters.
Nina Katarina asked:
Is there a shortcut to the Caverns of Time from the capital cities besides the portal in Dalaran? I'm guessing that the next-shortest way to get there is to port to Uldum and fly up to Tanaris, but that still seems like a bit of a haul to get to the newest raid instance.
Is there an inn where you can hearth inside the Caverns?
Take the portal to Uldum and fly or, if you're a Gnomish engineer, port down to Gadgetzan. Dalaran also has a portal in the Violet Citadel that takes you straight to the Caverns of Time. I do not believe that there is an inn in the Caverns of Time. The closest inn would be Gadgetzan.
Recently, I've been getting into dungeons through the LFD and some bosses and trash are dead but none of us were there before we accepted the queue. Have other people been experiencing this too? Also, any idea what is causing it?
Someone in that random party was in that instance, was steadily completing it with his fellow band of random adventurers, and then something terrible happened. The tank got fed up, DPS got fed up, healer quit, etc. The group basically fell apart, and the one guy requeued in that instance, which reassembled four people for him to continue his instance with. Now, that guy isn't saying a word about the horrific events he witnessed.
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